Welcoming Professor Lara Fabian

Published: September 27, 2023

The Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World is delighted to welcome to UCLA Dr. Lara Fabian, who has joined the faculty of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Dr. Fabian is the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Iranian Archaeology, a post in which she succeeds Professor Emerita Elizabeth Carter.

Professor Fabian is an archaeologist whose work focuses on Iran and broader Southwest Asia in the Iron Age and later, and particularly the Achaemenid through Sasanian periods. Her current research and book project consider the South Caucasus as a nexus of interaction between the Iranian, Mediterranean, and Steppe spheres in this period. She studies how people here interacted with and reacted to the pan-regional political structures on their borders, considering state and imperial formations (e.g., the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Arsacid, and Roman empires) and also mobile pastoralist federations (e.g., the Sarmatians and Alans). Her scholarship is informed by historiographic and reception studies on the development of thought about antiquity and the question of Iran in the Russian Empire, Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Eurasia. As part of this wider research, she has co-directed a collaborative Azerbaijani-American fieldwork project in the Lerik region of Azerbaijan since 2016. Before coming to UCLA, she worked on the “Beyond the Silk Road” ERC project at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

Professor Fabian obtained her Ph.D. in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Prior to her graduate studies, she earned a B.F.A. in Theatrical Set Design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2006 and her B.A. in Classical Archaeology from Hunter College, City University of New York in 2011.

In Fall Quarter 2023, Professor Fabian will teach an upper-division undergraduate course and connected graduate course, “Archaeology of Iran,” which is designed to introduce students to Iranian archaeology, focusing on sites dating from the prehistoric through Sasanian period.